The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Return route for punished duo
- RG Kar ‘considering’ taking back sacked house-staff members

It has taken an interim order by a Calcutta High Court judge for the authorities of RG Kar Medical College and Hospital to try and right a wrong.

Following last week’s high court directive asking them to allow three of the six punished RG Kar junior doctors to rejoin work, the college authorities said on Monday that they are “actively considering” withdrawal of the punishment slapped on the others as well.

Four RG Kar interns were suspended and two house-staff members dismissed by the authorities (prodded by the state government) without being given a chance to explain their position, earlier this month, following a clash on campus over a patient’s death.

Three of the suspended interns — Subhajit Ray, Biplab Chandra and Subhankar Chatterjee (all of them belonging to the SUCI’s students’ wing, the All-India Democratic Students’ Organisation) — went to court, alleging that they were not given a fair trial. No proper inquiry was conducted, they alleged, adding that they were being punished for their political affiliation.

The three other punished junior doctors — intern Rakesh Sharma and house-staff members Manas Maiti and Dibyendu Saha — protested the punishment but did not move court.

Justice Indira Banerjee of Calcutta High Court, on November 18, asked the college authorities to take the three appellants back till the next date of hearing. Armed with the interim order, Ray, Chandra and Chatterjee went back to their hospital the next day and rejoined work.

RG Kar principal Basudeb Banerjee said on Monday that the college authorities were “actively considering” the case of the three other accused. “Immediately after getting a copy of the court’s interim order, we allowed the fourth suspended intern (Sharma) to rejoin work,” he said, hinting that something similar was being considered for Maiti and Saha.

“We are actively considering the case of the two house-staff members, as we do not want to be seen as being vindictive,” Banerjee stressed. “One must understand that the college is not against students or junior doctors… No one likes to destroy careers,” the principal added.

Earlier, the young doctors’ case was bolstered by some college council members, who told a joint probe team of the Indian Medical Association and the Medical Service Centre that college and university rules had not been followed while punishing them, “without evidence”.

This was corroborated by the police team following up an FIR filed against the accused junior doctors.

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